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Eco-Friendly Living, Natural Living

Natural Skin and Body Care 101

It’s been ages since I wrote about what’s filling my medicine cabinet and my makeup bag so I thought I’d do a giant post summarizing the products I’m using these days.

When you’re trying to make the switch to natural products, knowing what to buy and where to buy it is often the hardest part. Hopefully, this post will make things a bit easier!

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The Artful Dodger

The Artful Dodger - Makeup as message//

The other day I found myself watching a makeup tutorial. And let me tell you, this was nothing at all like the horrifically amateur tutorial I posted a year ago, where half of my explanations involved phrases like, “Just mash it into your face” and “you have to blend, I hear…” and “draw heinous circles, like, legit stripes ..then rub it in until you look less crazy.”

No, this tutorial was snapchatted by none other than Kylie Jenner, sister to the fabled Kardashian women and known for her super-big lips.

I have no explanation for how I came to be watching this video. I don’t follow any of the Kardashians (or Jenners for that matter) although I am definitely aware of them in the periphery sense that most of us in our celeb-obsessed culture are. I don’t share the disdain for them that many feel; the whole family evokes a pretty neutral response from me.

Nor am I particularly interested in makeup- doing it, acquiring it, experimenting with it etc. It’s as much a part of my life as getting dressed is – I take care in the process, I try to put enough effort in that it ends up working for me, I use it to accentuate the positive and diminish the negative, but it’s an aspect of my life that takes about five minutes a day and requires minimal cost and attention.

But this is different. This isn’t just makeup, it’s art. Jenner has perfected her skills and utilises her tools and materials  to the point where she artfully constructs her face basically from scratch each and every day. She draws and conceals and contours and highlights, and in doing so, dictates what you see. What you perceive. It’s kind of fascinating. Just watch it.

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Just kind of…mash it in…

A while ago my friend Beth shared a hilarious video from Mother Pukka, detailing her morning makeup routine. I loved it and decided to do one too.

So I did! Look at me, following through with things!

Buuuut then I watched it. Watching yourself on video is basically just the worst. My face, I have realized, is alarmingly asymmetrical. And we all know that symmetry is the foundation of beauty, yes? Yet watching this video I couldn’t ignore the fact that one of my eyebrows is more arched than the other, I have a wonky eye and an (adorably?) crooked smile, and so clearly I started panicking because what does that mean?

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Yesterday our first giveaway, today our first tutorial! SO many firsts these days, guys!

You heard me correctly, welcome to Sweet Madeleine’s very first Makeup Tutorial!

Let me begin by asking you: Have you ever wanted to look like THIS?


No? First of all, why on earth not? WHAT ARE YOU SAYING?

And second, good. You are obviously a normal person. Please read on to discover just how to avoid finding yourself in a similar predicament. (Hint: It begins with not being married to Adam)

Today I received a little package in the mail from my dear friend Kris.


When I opened the envelope I started laughing immediately, the gift was a reference to the glamour photos we took back in September, when all I wanted in the world was smoky eyes and nude lips and no one, not our non-existent makeup artist, nor the crazed cosmetician at Shoppers Drug Mart, nor the brow-powder happy booking agent from a modelling agency could deliver.

It was an incredibly thoughtful gesture from one of my oldest friends, who spotted it on a recent trip to Texas.

Included with the Smoky Eyes kit was a little note, at the end of which read: “P.S. Adam and Gus can try the gift too if they like.”

Oh Kris. Do you KNOW Adam? Why do you plant these ideas in his head? I BLAME YOU.

Adam didn’t notice the note at first, but seemed oddly fascinated by the kit, I think because it had directions printed inside the inner lid.

“It has instructions? How hard can it BE?” he scoffed, “I could do this. Can I put it on you?”. Internets, I have no idea why I agreed. (Kris I guess you’re off the hook,  I blame ME).

I started off in my usual, minimal-makeup state:


And then Adam started working. He read the directions for each step out loud at least three times. Then he would mutter them under his breath for the duration of each step, so the whole process sounded something like this:

“Okay, STEP ONE. Start by applying a “lid” shade from lashline to crease. Wait what’s a lid shade? What’s a crease?”

“Okay, lashline to crease. Lashline to crease. Man you have wrinkly eyelids. Lashline. To. Crease”

“Hmm. That doesn’t look too too bad. Wait. *blows in my face* oh god it’s everywhere. *blows in my face again* Do professional makeup artists do this?”

“Oh wow. Oh wowwww. It looks better with your eyes closed. Close your eyes again? Oh yeaahhh! I’m awesome at this! NO NO KEEP THEM CLOSED!”

Guys, if ever there was proof that Adam does not know how to follow directions, it is the following pictures.



Once I saw what I looked like, I was shocked into stunned silence for a few moments.

This kit comes from VICTORIA’S SECRET. As in one of the most celebrated lingerie companies in the world. Making women feel beautiful is their SPECIALTY, and Adam managed to pervert that mission so much that I looked like a busted Egyptian hooker.

And then he saw the note.

“P.S. Adam and Gus can try the gift too if they like.” Surprisingly, he was up for it. And so it begun.


(can we just stop and admire how CUUUU-UUUTE this man is? Look at those eyelashes! Just imagine how much cuter he’d be without that deranged looking homeless-man beard! Can we start a petition or something?)


Needless to say I was a little more adept at applying the makeup, a little less…heavy handed, shall we say.

SO much so in fact, that when he saw the finished results, he was disappointed.


“But Adam, ” I explained, “This is how a NORMAL PERSON would apply this makeup. It’s not supposed to look so…obvious.”

He kept insisting that it needed to be “more intense” and “tougher”. Um…you are aware that you’re wearing makeup, yes? But hey, who am I to object to my husband’s demands for more “intense” smoky eyes? Aren’t I a feminist? Why should women have all the fun? Aren’t I a Sociologist? Why shouldn’t we challenge social norms which dictate that a man can’t wear eye makeup?

Internets: THIS IS WHY.


What a pair.

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I hope these images haunt your nightmares like they have mine.

(P.S. As evidenced by Adam’s first, more subtle makeover, this kit is actually pretty awesome, and easy to use. I’m just stressing this fact in case you think that your results will come out like this. THEY WON’T! I can guarantee that! Unless you too have a 6’2” man who has (allegedly) never applied makeup before in his life doing your smoky eyes for you. 

I can’t wait for Christmas parties to begin so I can do this for real! Thanks Kris!)

(P.P.S. The giveaway closes at midnight tomorrow! Get your entries in while you can 🙂